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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Children's author Tommy Batchelor with

LOST ON SPIRIT RIVER
SPIRIT RIVER TRILOGY
BOOK 1


Thirteen-year-old Tony's parents are in the middle of divorce, his mother sends him to his Grandpa's along the banks of the Flint River in Southwestern Georgia. With his younger cousin Kathryn, they set out to look for a Christmas tree for the holidays, along with Grandpa's aging beagle, Sally. The three become lost in a snowstorm, which has not hit Georgia in three hundred years. Finding shelter in a hidden cave, stumbling upon Native American art. Now the adventure begins...

In Lost on Spirit River, author Tommy Batchelor has written an entertaining young-adult novel with a multi-pronged message. He uses suspense and adventure to capture his audience's attention.

The dialogue is crisp...The characters are well developed... Readers glimpse the spirit world of ancient native tribes in a way that will stir imaginations...

Kim Reale's illustrations solidify the images already created by Batchelor's exceptional ability to describe scenes and setting. Highly Recommended by William Potter for Reader's Choice Book Reviews.

Click for the interview:


What is Lost of Spirit River all about? Can you tell us a little more about its genre?
Lost on Spirit River is a fiction book for boys and girls ages nine to fourteen. The plot is centered on cousins Tony and Kathryn. While out looking for a Christmas tree for Grandpa’s cabin and family holiday, they become lost in a snowstorm that is the first to hit southwestern Georgia in over three hundred years. Aided by Sally, Grandpa’s aging beagle, the three find shelter in a cave. Finding Native American art on the walls, now the adventure really begins.

What gave you the incentive to write this book?
I’ve always had the love of outdoor adventures. Camping and fishing along the shores of the Flint River in Central Georgia. I wanted my Grandchildren to know and love the same things I was able to do as a young man.


Can you sum Lost on Spirit River in one sentence?
Lost on Spirit River is full of action, adventure and Native American spirits with a multi- pronged message.


Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/family or by real-life experiences?
Actually, all three. Tony was one of my best friends in school, we worked together at the same place and we both had a love for fishing and camping on the Flint River. We even double dated sisters at one time. A little over a year and half out of school he was killed in a freak auto accident. Kathryn comes from my own daughter; she’s my baby girl and only child. I had to include her into my book.


What is your favourite scene in your book? Can we have a snippet?
 I have quite a few favorites, here’s one…

Busy conducting their search, neither Tony nor Kathryn noticed a small shift in the wind out of the north, nor did they detect that the temperature slowly fell a couple degrees.
“This one is the perfect one, don’t you think Tony?” suggested Kathryn.
“I don’t like it,” Tony shot back at her, not even turning back to look at the tree.
“It’s starting to get cooler, and all I have with me is this light jacket,” Kathryn said, pulling her jacket tighter around her.
“Well, you shouldn’t have come with me. I don’t need your help,” Tony said quickly, heading between the
trees. Hugging herself to keep warm, Kathryn told him, "Grandpa asked me to come with you; it wasn’t my idea. Besides, why are you so angry at everyone all the time?”
“I’m not,” she heard him reply through the trees.
“Yes, you are. Quit barking at me. I didn’t do anything to you, and neither did anyone else. Mr. High-And-Mighty doesn’t need anybody’s help,” she scolded him.

Growing up in central Georgia gave Author Tommy Batchelor many outdoor adventures either in the woods or along the banks of the Flint River. “Lost on Spirit River”, is Book 1 of the Spirit River Trilogy and Tommy’s first Middle grade fiction for ages 9 - 14. Tommy’s first published book, Sunday’s with Papa T, A River Adventure, for ages 5 - 8 is a 28 page Picture Book. He resides in Middle Georgia with his wife, Cathy. Contact the Author at tombatch50@gmail.com


Do you have an agent, or have you gone alone?
No, I don’t have an agent, but if one is interested in me or my book I’m listening. In self-publishing, Mirror did my first book, which was a picture book, “Sunday’s with Papa T, A River Adventure”, I retain all rights, they are very good to work for and if at any time a big name publishing companies wants my book, I can cancel anytime. No questions asked! Just do your research on self-publishing and go with the company that fits you and your book.

What marketing have you been doing to help sales?
Most of the marketing for my book has been done online and through friends and relatives. The VBT has been the most helpful so far! After the first of the year I’ll be getting into more book signing and Indie bookstores in the area.


How long does it take you to write a book?
Lost on Spirit River was written over a span of a week, the editing part took a lot longer. Well over 6 months. My first book, “Sunday with Papa T, A River Adventure”, a picture book for ages 5- 9 took us less than a year, which included illustrations.


Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
Characters have to come first for me. I developed the plot as I write the book. I knew the main players would be cousins, about the same age. The background for the story, none other than the Flint River area, them I sat down and wrote the book.


How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?
I actually didn’t want to become a writer until later in my life, at a younger age I was more of a reader. I grew up with books in the house at all times. I know I’ll never be able to write the great all-America novel. I want to write to entertain children and help non-readers pick up a book for the first time and read!


Are you working on another book? Possible to have a preview snippet or blurb of that?
Yes, I’m working on Book 2, of the Spirit River Trilogy. I seem to get more done on my books during the winter months; I don’t get much writing done in the warmer months. You’ll have to wait a little longer for a preview on Book 2.


What advice would you give aspiring authors?
It takes a lot of patience to be published or self-publish. The time it takes between a big publishing house and self-publishes yourself is the difference of years to months. Either way, when the day comes and your book arrives by mail. Holding it in your hands for the very first time, that’s when you realized a new book is born and it belong to you.


Would you buy a self-published book?
Since the day I published my first book, I find myself reading and buying more and more self-published books. I now know what these authors went through to get their books publishes and it’s a hard road against the big publishing companies. I recommend everyone read a self-publish author, there are a lot of good books to be read.


Contacts:
Read first 16 pages of  Lost of Spirit River and purchase on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and many more online book stores. Or even contact Tommy Batchelor himself to buy a signed copy.

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